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Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

University of Michigan research spending reaches $1.27B

By Kellie Woodhouse

University of Michigan's research spending rose by $37.5 million in fiscal 2011-12, reaching an all-time high of $1.27 billion.


U-M Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest

University of Michigan

The change represents a 3 percent increase and is roughly one-third of the research growth U-M experienced in fiscal 2010-11, when levels were $1.24 billion.

U-M Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest predicted the slowing of growth last year, citing cutbacks in federal research spending due to the petering out of research funds allotted from the federal stimulus package of 2009.

Overall federal funding dipped by 3.6 percent —in spite of increases in funds from the National Science Foundation, department of energy and transportation and NASA— but university-generated research funding grew more than 20 percent and funding from industry increased by 5.6 percent, reaching $42.8 million.

Forrest expects the trend of lower federal research funding to continue.

"Looking ahead, the overall pace of growth for research funding from the federal government is slowing down," Forrest said.

U-M first broke the $1 billion mark during fiscal 2009, when research funding totaled $1.016 billion, a 12 percent increase from $929 million in fiscal 2008.

NSF in April ranked U-M first in research development among public universities in the U.S.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 10:12 a.m.

The U did not spend $1.27B on Research. They spent $37.5M...the rest came from Federal funding.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

The federal funds are being spent according to the research proposals submitted to the NIH, NSF, FDA and any other governmental agencies providing grants. These proposals are very competitive with only a small proportion of submissions actually receiving any funding, which is often less than requested. U of M should be congratulated on its success in competing for limited amounts of federal funding. Many more research proposals are approved than can be funded. Sadly, some innovations that can benefit us all will not be developed or will be delayed in development due to the limited federal funding.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.

Fair enough, yeah I have no clue how that all breaks down. That is a ton of money though so I lets hope it is going to good use! Go Blue!


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

StopCrying is correct. Total research funds rose by $37.5M. What i was trying to point out (poorly) is that the $1.27B was not all U money. The lions share came from Federal funding to the university. The article doesn't seem to say how much the university contributed. Would be interesting to see whether the $1.27B was actual research spending or whether it includes the university administrative overhead cost that they add to all funding not contributed by the university.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

The article says that research spending rose by 37.5M in the last year. So you are saying that everything else prior has been funded by the government?

Sam McDermott

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

Those aren't just props in the photo - Professor Forrest is a member of the physics department. Perhaps his honorific should be used in the article?